Read this if you want a great holiday

One of the things your correspondent does not do anymore, is to write stories about interesting restaurants, bars and holiday areas on tripadvisor or on

The reason is simple – as soon as you do that the place become complacent, the quality falls and prices rise. Holiday areas just fill up with a million people and the environment suffers permanent damage.

But today a secret will be revealed to folks who want to experience something totally different with a trip to the Dolomites. The reason that this can be revealed is because there are only 2 things you can do here and they have been known to the whole of Germany, Austria and Italy for decades and still there are no crowds here.

The Dolomites is one of the best place in the world for hiking in the mountains, and for enjoying magnificent views of huge deep valleys, where forests are full of the biggest trees (spruce, pine and larch) that you will ever see in your life.

The hiking is great because the paths are kept in perfect condition. They are steep and tidy, full of surprises and with interesting people of all ages popping up now and then. The paths up and down the mountain are never crowded – although the Hüttes can be at weekends.

The Hüttes are found halfway up and at the top of the mountains or near the top. They serve up great food – really great food and drinks. There is nothing you cannot enjoy except we have never seen chicken or fish – but we get enough of those at home!

The service there is swift and professional, and while you are waiting you can cool of with a radler, a beer, berry juice or mineral water in the bright sunshine if its sunny, or, if it is cold and wet outside, then inside where there are seats with many warm friendly bodies.

You will never feel like a sardine here because only a few people in the world like hiking – some 0.0001% of the world’s population, and most of the folks who stay in the so picturesque villages stay down in the villages and go shopping or sit on the wooden benches and watch the world go by the momentous mountains!

The best villages are in Sud Tirol which is just 2 hours from Innsbruck by car and bit longer by train. The apartments, B&B and hotels are great and the food – well if you could buy the same fresh produce for these prices at home you would be the happiness person in the Nordic countries…

Everything works, service is friendly, you will not see any nails or screws in the fine woodwork of the restaurant or Stubbe. There are no big chains here – Lidl, Hilton and the likes are banned – these are all family-run business that know what they want, and what you want.

Can you imagine, that on the train, when the next passenger did not have time to buy a ticket at the station, the conductor offered to get a ticket at the next station and even suggested a cheaper solution! In Finland, the ticketless passenger would have been fined €80 and sent to prison – or that is what you feel like on the trams and trains in Helsinki!

Public service has a whole new meaning here…

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